Author Topic: Things I would do if I were in charge...  (Read 1333 times)

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Umarth

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Things I would do if I were in charge...
« on: December 02, 2016, 07:37:40 AM »
I've enjoyed playing again after an 18-ish year hiatus. Some of the changes are very enjoyable (spell components are very neat IMO), some not so much. The biggest negative, in my view, is the way the classes have evolved over time. I was thinking about some things that I might change if I had broad powers to do so, and thought I would outline them here.

1.   Total class/race rework

Scrap (remove completely) SHAMAN, SCOUT, DARK KNIGHT, BARBARIAN.

Rebalance WARRIOR guild to receive skills based on RACE. For example, SILVANESTI warriors could receive some of the DARK KNIGHT sword-play type skills; GOBLIN and HALF-OGRE warriors could receive some of the BARBARIAN skills and abilities. Archery skills would be the domain of the warrior guild. What skills would be available would also be based on ALIGNMENT (which could result in capping of a skill/loss of a skill if align is changed later). This would make for more interesting race/guild/alignment combinations and reduce overall clutter. For example, neutrals could get access to sneak/hide; kender warriors always get sneak/hide. Obviously these skills would be balanced against other guilds that they more primarily belong to (i.e., warrior sneak will never be as good as a thief sneak, but with the right gear and stats it could be effective). Similar to the kender example, perhaps minotaurs regardless of guild always get access to bash.

Similarly, rename PALADIN guild to CAVALIER, and rebalance skills based on race and alignment. Perhaps only LG human/half-elf paladins get lay; only LE humans/elves get drain.

Remove conjure skill and any summon pet skills; make these all require casting a spell with components. Remove all conjured pet ranking, strength of summoned pet solely dependent upon components used in casting the spell. Make it a guild spell, though.

Rebalance CLERIC and DRUID guild with some of the stuff from the removed SHAMAN spell lists, dependent upon race/alignment combos.

Rebalance THIEF guild with some of the SCOUT skills perhaps (extended scans like from mage pets? I dunno what Scouts have tbh, but they seem ridiculous as is). Dependent upon alignment and race, it should be possible to sort of approximate an old-school ASSASSIN guild (i.e., LE or CE thieves could get access to bash and poisons). Maybe LG thieves do not get backstab, but are much better at picking locks. (For that matter, make all locks pickable… or all but the very most special. Use a puzzle if it’s something you don’t want picked.)

Rebalance MAGIC-USER / WHITE ROBE / RED ROBE / BLACK ROBE guilds slightly to be more in tune with DL AD&D. Basically, tweak the spell lists to get rid of a bunch of the weird individual spells, and make broader spell lists that cover more ground, but differentiate the guilds by (1) slots and (2) effectiveness at certain spheres. This is in line with the way skills are handled across guilds, too. The mage test is great IMO and doesn’t need changing.

2.   Stats rework

Go back to true stat rolling. But, make it a little more forgiving. And by that I mean, it should be viable to play a mediocre-statted character and have fun doing it. My gnome has a 9 str and can barely carry anything… it’s very annoying. 9 is supposedly in the “average” range of 9-12, on the 18 scale. I realize Arctic uses the 28 scale. Maybe it’s time to dump that. I would propose using the Mentzer-style 3-18 scale, such that 3 is -3, 4-5 is -2, 6-7 is -1, 8-13 is 0, 14-15 is +1, 16-17 is +2, and 18 is +3.

I’m not exactly sure how arctic does it, but make dex apply to hitroll, and str only to damroll. This would make high-dex, low-str tanks who focus on parry and rescue more viable (kinda like old school RANGER guild used to be, sort of).

3.   Spells rework

I’d chuck quite a lot of spells. Some of the newer stuff is mighty nice though, like the various travel related spells. I would remove those from druids(and shamans would be removed entirely) and put them with magic-users, though. Clerics keep summon.

Anything that SUMMONS charmies/pets should be intricately tied to the component system. That includes animate dead (which only evil clerics should get; also evil clerics probably shouldn’t get heal, but harm would need to be scaled up a bit to make evil clerics more playable; with regens/healing clouds and stuff like that going to druids this shouldn’t be a huge deal). Shamans are so overpowered it’s not even funny. However, I think these spells SHOULD be powerful and useful. It should just require a little more to use them than just some simple skill or spell. Also, rebalance summon spells to be based on caster alignment. I’m thinking specifically of BLACK ROBE mages using create undead or summon demon. WHITE ROBE mages could summon celestials, RED ROBE mages create golems. And that sort of thing.

4.   Items rework

There’s been a lot of item inflation in the game in 18 years. I think this is more of a design question than anything. I think if I were starting from the ground up, I’d create a set of “basic” items that could/would load everywhere, and anywhere. Things like “leather armor” or “a longsword.” That way, there’s some uniformity, and it saves time for creators. But basic items ought to be halfway usable/decent, too. And enchant item ought to be viable on all basic items, as well. You should be able to enchant a reasonable set of gear for yourself. Nothing elite, but certainly something viable. So casual players can still enjoy stuff.

Reduce all items damrolls to more manageable levels. Good weapons ought to be in the 2d6-2d7 range, average in the 1d6-1d10 range. Elite (like limit 1-3) weapons in the 3d6-3d7 range. Maybe elite 2-handeds in the 4d5-4d6 range, but nothing higher.

Dragon orbs should be magic-user only.

Spell components of all levels should be slightly more plentiful, last longer before decaying, and cost less to rent.

5.   Hps/damage rework

Reducing weapon damrolls and stat bonuses down should prolong fights slightly, which is sort of the goal… to introduce some more survivability and tactics(!). This would need to be done for mobs as well though, and in a big way. The really hard/elite fights should all be reworked in favor of less Big Bads but more underlings. In other words, a single wizard, even if very powerful, probably won’t last long against an 8-man group of high level characters, but that single wizard would never engage that 8-man group in a fight without having a horde of low level goblins, skeletons, whatever kind of fodder. He’d sit back and let that horde wear down the enemy while chucking fireballs from range. The only mobs that this probably wouldn’t apply to would be the dragons, who ought to be (and properly/probably are) terrifying.

Anyway, all mobs generally should also hit less hard. This should be balanced by making more of them.

6.   Saving throw simplification

The fortitude/reflex/willpower saving throw system of modern d20 systems is just way better than the old AD&D saving throw model. Scrap it and move to the better, easier system.

7.   Rank / customization rework

It’s a good idea to allow for customization, but the rank system as implemented probably needs some work. I’d probably remove it entirely until the changes above had time to ferment and mature. Possible ways to rework would be to move back to 30+ only, and give a set of several things to pick from in “paths” based on guild/alignment combo. So as you ranked above 30 as an evil thief, you could specialize more in bashing, or backstabbing, or poisoning, or as a good cleric in healing, summoning celestials, or bludgeons (damroll), or something along those lines.


Just some thoughts.

« Last Edit: December 02, 2016, 07:42:16 AM by Umarth »

Jorquin

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Re: Things I would do if I were in charge...
« Reply #1 on: December 04, 2016, 04:05:59 AM »
My 2c on the topics-

1. You're talking about enormous, game altering changes on a massive scale. One of our biggest ties to bring people back is nostalgia. The more we deviate from historical Arctic, the less likely we are to survive. I'm inclined to disagree on this one overall.

What I do think is that it would be great to make the legendary ranks significantly more powerful, but limit them to one per player. That makes your choice massively affect the way you play the game, and what your character's strengths are. This fits the idea of having various archetypes within classes without requiring enormous coding changes. Some work would have to be done to tweak what each rank provides for that class. Food for thought anyway.


2. Changing stat scale - maybe. Completely obliterating the way they function and rebuilding, no. We have limited resources to push changes. The stat system fundamentally serves its purpose - there are better ways for our coders to spend their (limited) time in my opinion.


3. Spells in general need a look. Not going to debate this, but what shape or form this takes place in I'm not sure. Overall I'd like to give them some love.


4. Re: weapons - this was done, and it sucked. It was the single most unpopular change Arctic has ever seen. The goal of the people in charge is to make the game enjoyable for those who play, build and maintain player numbers and general oversight. Nerfing the crap out of all the weapons did none of the above.

Re: damroll - Not sure on this one. What is more likely is that the limits on odd-slot damages (waist/foot/neck/etc) get either chopped, or have negatives applied. This will make getting to +4000 damage difficult, but ensure its still relatively easy to be able to hit okay.

Re: Dragon orb restricts - no, that's dumb. Dragon orbs are fun, other classes should get to play too. RP / lore is great, but player enjoyment is the more important part.

Re: spell components - rent prices maybe should be dropped a little, but components are already really plentiful. Not sure this needs adjusting to be honest.


5. There's no way mobs are getting damage nerfs. If anything, things are (generally) too easy. Overall I actually think mob balance is in a decent spot right now... for the most part at least.


6. I'll admit saves are a bit shitty right now. Personally I'd like to convert everything to one of either save vs breath or save vs spell, change item stats to suit and nerf player saves slightly at the baseline... but it's not at the top of the agenda.


7. See 1.


8. You forgot nightmare and PWS getting smashed with the nerf bat.

gulca

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Re: Things I would do if I were in charge...
« Reply #2 on: December 04, 2016, 07:06:26 PM »

6. I'll admit saves are a bit shitty right now. Personally I'd like to convert everything to one of either save vs breath or save vs spell, change item stats to suit and nerf player saves slightly at the baseline... but it's not at the top of the agenda.

Kick this one up a notch. Best thing that will happen to eq, spell ranks and spells without taking away anything.

Umarth

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Re: Things I would do if I were in charge...
« Reply #3 on: December 05, 2016, 08:51:07 AM »
My 2c on the topics-

1. You're talking about enormous, game altering changes on a massive scale. One of our biggest ties to bring people back is nostalgia. The more we deviate from historical Arctic, the less likely we are to survive. I'm inclined to disagree on this one overall [and everything else generally].

[snip]


Yeah, that's more of just general musing than "hey guys do this." If I were doing it from the ground up, that's what I'd do. (Also, I mean, I can see why people may have bitched about damroll on weapons if nothing else changed, heh.)

But if nostalgia is the goal, roll back to 98 code and maybe add in assassins. :P

Kadaj

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Re: Things I would do if I were in charge...
« Reply #4 on: December 07, 2016, 02:26:35 PM »


Re: Dragon orb restricts - no, that's dumb. Dragon orbs are fun, other classes should get to play too. RP / lore is great, but player enjoyment is the more important part.


It's not very enjoyable as a mage not being able to use the dragon orbs solo. Unless you are a legend cleric or druid with healing cloud it's pretty much pointless to have one. You can't healing mist with it on a mage and you can't regenerate or healing wave or delay death and use it on a shaman.

That's probably the number one change I'd like to see right now.
« Last Edit: December 08, 2016, 02:13:53 PM by Kadaj »

Alecto

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Re: Things I would do if I were in charge...
« Reply #5 on: December 13, 2016, 08:36:44 PM »
If we are making wish lists I will add my 2 cents:

I would like to see 2 wipes each year: A fall wipe like we have traditionally had in Arctic and, in addition, a CHAOS wipe every June.  Data from the stat files show that the playerbase shrinks considerably during the summer (because drinking beer and hanging out at the pool/beach/grill is more fun than typing a lot).  Besides, our kids are all off from school and hogging the WIFI! The CHAOS wipe would be an opportunity to beta-test new code, try out new ideas, and take the responsibility of being the game referee off of the staff for three months.  Besides, wipes are fun!

kholos

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Re: Things I would do if I were in charge...
« Reply #6 on: January 06, 2017, 03:19:21 PM »
I like Jorquins idea of having only 1 legendar rank.  It would have to be more emcompassing.

Could also add additional skills/spells for which legendary rank was purchased.

Shival

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Re: Things I would do if I were in charge...
« Reply #7 on: January 10, 2017, 10:27:16 PM »
A few things id like to see...
1. stun removed.... from mages and given to clerics.
2. nightmare is fine, buff prism and make it cure each engaged player in group by 15hp when it lands, change blast wave to something cool like Astral Flare and make it blind thru imm blind area spell. since these are cyan tier spells (or should be)
3. some overall damage balance, melee and spell
4. bring druids back from the dead. currently i think worst class in the game.
5. immortal interaction when rules are broken, not a ban hammer but some consequence for either a player or clan breaking rules
6. expanded legend races including, Draconian and Vry-kith, one is resistant to alot other has like 4 arms.
7. Biggest thing I would like to see, less people complaining and more people mudding.

Rinad

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Re: Things I would do if I were in charge...
« Reply #8 on: January 14, 2017, 11:27:41 PM »
You all missed a glaringly obvious one... Cleric spell loads.  This needs to be addressed and revamped.  I'm sure I'm not the only one who feels this way.